Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Community Building Through Landscaping and Volunteerism: A People-Centered Response to a Natural Disaster
by Schlosser, Kristina Aileen, M.S.W., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 91; 13861091
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this project, named Project Bountiful, was to locate a funding source and write a grant to provide landscaping services to persons with insufficient financial resources after rebuilding their homes due to wildfire loss.

There is a financial need for the proposed program due to the gap between insurance payouts and actual rebuilding costs. There is a social need due to the disruption of the fire-affected neighborhood and the loss of social connections. There is a psychological need due to the trauma resulting from this natural disaster.

The San Francisco Foundation was chosen as an appropriate proposed and potential funder due to its history of supporting projects in California involving environmental endeavors, community building, mental health, and youth development. The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship was chosen as the potential host agency due to its long-term commitment to social and environmental issues in the targeted area.

The overarching goal is to help rebuild community ties while providing re-landscaping to 50 homeowners on their home lots. In addition, involving homeowners as volunteers will facilitate community healing and personal processing of the traumatic event. At-promise youth and young adults, already employed by CFSES, will be engaged in the re-landscaping, thus enabling them to benefit by employment, mentoring, and civic engagement.

The program will be evaluated by means of interviews and surveys with the homeowners, volunteers, and at-promise youth and young adult participants. The evaluation will be ongoing and inform further planning and implementation.

If funded, this project could, quite literally, fill a void for fire survivors. The place that used to be a welcoming yard is currently devoid of plants and trees. Transforming a home lot filled only with dirt and rocks into a vibrant and inviting area for healing, social connection, and relaxation will benefit both individual fire survivors and the larger community.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Potts, Marilyn K.
Commitee: Pasztor, Eileen, Wilson, Steve
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Social Work, School of
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/1(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work
Keywords: Biophilia, Landscaping, Volunteerism, Wildfire recovery, Youth at-promise
Publication Number: 13861091
ISBN: 9781085577380
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